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AfTLD’s Participation in the ICANN80 Policy Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.

The participation of the Africa Top Level Domains Organization (AfTLD) was pivotal in the ICANN80 Policy Forum, held in Kigali, Rwanda, from June 10th to 13th. This significant event brought together many stakeholders from across the globe to discuss critical issues surrounding internet governance and digital connectivity. AfTLD’s involvement was marked by active participation in several key sessions, contributing to meaningful dialogues on the future of the digital landscape in Africa and beyond.

One of the highlights of ICANN80 was the plenary session dedicated to the ongoing United Nations Global Digital Compact process and the 20-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+20). This session provided a platform for AfTLD to engage with international policymakers, industry leaders, and civil society representatives. The discussions focused on aligning global digital policies with sustainable development goals, ensuring that the internet remains an open, secure, and inclusive space for all.

AfTLD’s contributions emphasised the unique challenges and opportunities faced by African countries in the digital era. By sharing insights and experiences from the continent, AfTLD underscored the importance of tailored strategies that address local needs while contributing to global objectives. The session fostered a collaborative atmosphere, reinforcing the significance of multistakeholder approaches in shaping the digital future.

Another cornerstone of ICANN80 was the High-Level Government Meeting, which aimed to create political awareness about ICANN’s role in the global internet governance ecosystem. This meeting highlighted ICANN’s contributions towards achieving digital connectivity and fostering a secure and resilient internet infrastructure.

During this session, AfTLD representatives engaged with government officials and policymakers, advocating for enhanced cooperation and support for Internet governance initiatives in Africa. The discussions underscored the importance of robust policy frameworks, capacity building, and investment in digital infrastructure to bridge the connectivity gap and promote digital inclusion across the continent.

The Africa Space session at ICANN80 provided an exclusive platform to delve into the recently published Africa Domain Name Industry Study. This study offered a comprehensive analysis of the domain name ecosystem in Africa, highlighting trends, challenges, and opportunities for growth. AfTLD played a crucial role in presenting the findings and engaging with stakeholders to explore strategies for strengthening the domain name industry in the region.

Additionally, the session featured discussions on the Coalition for Digital Africa, an initiative to foster collaboration and innovation to advance digital development in Africa. AfTLD’s involvement in this coalition underscores its commitment to driving digital transformation and ensuring that Africa remains at the forefront of the global digital economy.

ICANN80 in Kigali was not just a conference; it was an experience that showcased the vibrant and dynamic nature of the African digital landscape. The event provided a unique opportunity for AfTLD to network with global peers, exchange knowledge, and build strategic partnerships. Kigali’s collaborative spirit and rich cultural backdrop added a distinctive flavour to the discussions, making the event memorable for all participants.

AfTLD’s participation in ICANN80 reinforced its role as a critical player in the global internet governance ecosystem. By actively contributing to high-level discussions and promoting African perspectives, AfTLD demonstrated its commitment to fostering a secure, inclusive, and prosperous digital future for the continent.

As the digital landscape evolves, the insights and connections gained from ICANN80 will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping AfTLD’s future initiatives and strategies. The conference highlighted the importance of collaboration, innovation, and inclusive policymaking in achieving the shared vision of a connected and empowered digital world.